Title: Wolfenstein: The New Order
Publisher: Bethesda Softworks
Platform(s): Windows, PS3, PS4 (reviewed), Xbox 360, Xbox One
Genre: First-person shooter
Wolfenstein: The New Order is what happens when a classic first person shooter franchise is left in the capable hands of a developer known for some of the better modern day efforts in the genre such as the Riddick games and The Darkness. And it’s something we’d love to see more of.
That is, once you’ve tolerated the opening that’s audaciously lethargic. Before you get a gun in your hand, you’ll engage some stealth sequences and turret scenes, heck your first ten minutes will be anything but what the series is known for.
Make your way past that and you’re greeted by a brute of a shooter, an homage to all the good things first person shooters were known for prior to being COD-ified. There’s gore, gibs, and astounding amount of weaponry to keep you busy through the games 15-20 hour odd campaign. The guns handle well and shooting down your foes is extremely satisfying. If the box didn’t say it was developed by MachineGames, you’d be hard pressed to believe that this wasn’t the work of Id Software. Yes, the gunplay is that good.
Where the difference lies however, is the treatment of the protagonists. MachineGames manages to inject a sense of humanity into protagonist William “BJ” Blazkowicz that’s believable. Without spoiling much, the developers have managed to turn the poster child for beefcake shooter heroes into a nuanced individual with fears and hopes like the rest of us. There’s a slick narrative that takes place in a world that assumes the Nazis won World War II and it’s backed up with great characters, solid voice acting and some nice pieces of dialogue.
Layered over the satisfying shooting are the possibilities of taking down opponents using stealth, dual wielding weapons and a cool skill upgrade system that unlocks perks depending on your play style. You never do feel that the game has too many gameplay systems running at the same time. All three work well and you never feel that they take away from the core premise of great FPS gameplay. Rather, they augment the experience perfectly.
If this wasn’t enough, it looks stunning. Though I can’t comment on the last-gen performance, the PS4 version looks gorgeous and runs smoothly too. The world of Wolfenstein is brought to life in vivid detail. From a towering Nazi robot dogs to sprawling military installations, the game’s vision of an alternate reality ruled by the Third Reich is a sight to behold.
But it isn’t perfect. For one there tends to be some texture pop-in on loading up Wolfenstein much like Rage that’s based on the Id Tech 5 Engine. Also, some areas such as city streets seem barren thanks to a distinct lack of NPCs. They’re niggles that nibble away at the game’s immersion. Nonetheless neither are game breaking nor do they take away from the sheer pleasure of landing a perfect headshot.
What does however, is the price. At INR 2999 on PC, INR 4299 on PS4 and INR 3999 on PS3 and Xbox 360, Wolfenstein is prohibitively expensive. Couple this with the fact that it’s a 50GB install on PC and PS4 and you have a game that will cost you storage space aside from costing you, well, cash.
So if you can tolerate slow starts, seemingly empty locales, the occurrence of minor texture pop-in, you’ll be treated to a first person shooter that’s as action-packed and enjoyable as it gets.